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Old 02-06-2009, 04:26 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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NYT: Kindle books for everyone (not just Kindles)!

The title is a pretty innocuous phrasing of a potentially great big bombshell. Quoting NYTimes:

Quote:
Also Thursday, Amazon said that it was working on making the titles for its popular e-book reader, the Kindle, available on a variety of mobile phones. The company, which is expected to unveil a new version of the Kindle next week, did not say when Kindle titles would be available on mobile phones.

“We are excited to make Kindle books available on a range of mobile phones,” said Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon. “We are working on that now.”
Full article: Link
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:43 AM   #2
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A possible interpretation of that might be that Amazon are planning to make all Kindle books available as standard MobiPocket books, given that versions of the Mobi Reader are available for a very wide range of mobile phones. IF that is the case, it would open up Kindle books to anyone with a Mobi-capable reader, and that includes eInk devices such as the CyBook Gen3, Hanlin, BeBook, etc. That would indeed be excellent news!
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
The title is a pretty innocuous phrasing of a potentially great big bombshell. Quoting NYTimes:



Full article: Link
It would be great to be able to buy Mobipocket ebooks from Amazon. It would be even better without DRM, but I suppose that's not going to happen soon.

I was amused by a comment towards the end:
'Evan Schnittman, vice president for global business development at Oxford University Press [said] “[...] The pages of a book are the size they are because of hundreds of years of experience of what works best.” '

No, the pages of a book are the size they are because that's what's best for creating a bound book that's not impossibly thick or too big to hold. It's not necessarily the best size for reading. Ebook readers eliminate the problems of bulk, and I don't know of any research on what the optimal page size is for reading. For eInk screens, the slow page refresh is a problem with very small (PDA size) pages, but with an instant page turn I was happy with an LCD PDA screen. Indeed, I tended to view using the larger end of the font size range - fitting lots of words on the screen was unimportant, since the flip from page to page was instant.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:09 AM   #4
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I hope this means they'll release in some standard ebook format, so that people with different brands of ebook readers can get their books. Although I'm not getting my hopes up on this one- if they did that, they'd pretty much just breed competition for the Kindle, which probably isn't something they're going to want to do.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:33 AM   #5
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Since the Kindle format is just rebranded mobi with a twist, it wouldn't be too hard to add that support to all the phone only mobi readers out there already. Then they could support their own profits and store while still sticking it to their competitors dedicated readers, even ones like CyBook Gen3. Of course, I tend to take a more pessimistic view of big business activities.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
A possible interpretation of that might be that Amazon are planning to make all Kindle books available as standard MobiPocket books, given that versions of the Mobi Reader are available for a very wide range of mobile phones. IF that is the case, it would open up Kindle books to anyone with a Mobi-capable reader, and that includes eInk devices such as the CyBook Gen3, Hanlin, BeBook, etc. That would indeed be excellent news!
Sadly, I don't expect it will be the case.
I feel that the emphasis on mobile phones is not very encouraging.
Add in the mix that it appears in the same article as Google Book Search on mobile phones (via the Web) and I'm not really optimistic.

But I sure hope I'm wrong !
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:43 AM   #7
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No, I'm not holding my breath for it either, but it would be nice if it did happen .
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:43 AM   #8
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It would definitely make sense that they offer the books as normal Mobipocket books, especially as they "own" the company that created the format. OTOH what makes the Kindle unique is the integrated over-the-air bookshop, and they will surely want to stick to that for mobile phones as well. Given that only the Blackberry software offers such a functionality Amazon will either develop their own software or a new version of the Mobipocket Reader with OTA functionality will come out in the near future for other devices as well...
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:59 AM   #9
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There was a rumour that Mobipocket had a reader available in the fall for the iPhone but Amazon stopped them from releasing it. If this is true my guess is they took that version changed the DRM to Kindle DRM and are making modifications to the Amazon store to allow purchases and downloads. This would be a Kindle Edition for the iPhone/iPod Touch. It wouldn't be hard to do this with their other editions for the Blackberries etc...

It would essentially be the end of Mobipocket though.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
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It would essentially be the end of Mobipocket though.
Depends. If it was restricted to US customers only (like the Kindle Store currently is) it wouldn't really affect international Mobi sales at all.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:04 AM   #11
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No, the pages of a book are the size they are because that's what's best for creating a bound book that's not impossibly thick or too big to hold. It's not necessarily the best size for reading.
Well, from what I have read about typography the size is really near optimal size. The line length is definitely dependent on what is most efficient to read. And if I remember correctly you do not want to have text blocks that are to long comparted to the line length (maybe mostly for aesthetical reasons).
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:06 AM   #12
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This kind of fits in with the discussions about Astak (EZReader) being told that devices in the US that support mobi DRM are not allowed to support any other DRM. If Amazon is going to open up their distribution, they probably want to monopolize it and discourage you from buying from anyone else.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:11 AM   #13
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This kind of fits in with the discussions about Astak (EZReader) being told that devices in the US that support mobi DRM are not allowed to support any other DRM.
I believe that's a requirement in Mobipocket licencing for devices anywhere, not just the US. At least, I remember some talk about possible problems on eg. the Cybook, should it support, say, DRMed PDF or EPUB.

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Originally Posted by smee View Post
If Amazon is going to open up their distribution, they probably want to monopolize it and discourage you from buying from anyone else.
Hell, just opening up their store for Mobipocket DRM would essentially monopolize the market, I think. With the amount of books they have available, you wouldn't have to go to any other place for just about anything you read.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:14 AM   #14
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I believe that's a requirement in Mobipocket licencing for devices anywhere, not just the US.
It is. Mobi have always required DRM-exclusivity, even before they were bought by Amazon.

Quote:
Hell, just opening up their store for Mobipocket DRM would essentially monopolize the market, I think. With the amount of books they have available, you wouldn't have to go to any other place for just about anything you read.
For Mobi books, yes, but remember that there are other formats out there .

But let's not get carried away. I can't really see Amazon doing this, much though I'm sure we'd all like them to.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:17 AM   #15
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But let's not get carried away. I can't really see Amazon doing this, much though I'm sure we'd all like them to.
I have trouble imagining they'd open it up to all devices - if there really is a Kindle 2 coming out it would cut into sales anyway. But, I can imagine them opening it up to iphone/touch.
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